Détente or aggression? - South Africa's Namibian policy
This paper explains that Namibian independence is determined by South African interests in the region, and that Namibian independence will only happen when South Africa wants it, according to its preconditions. The weak link in South Africa’s regional policy remains Angola. Cuban withdrawal from Angola has become linked to Namibian independence. The West’s attitude is not to deny South Africa’s security interests but it has doubts about destabilisation in the region. South Africa’s hegemonial policy in Southern Africa clashes with American interests. South Africa is not against Namibian independence per se, unless it harms South Africa’s strategic security and economic interests. Concerning the current state of affairs in Namibia, important questions are how much credence the transitional government will gain and what its chances for success are. Among the Namibian population, the influence of the black churches on political development has declined and the upcoming generation has become disillusioned with endeavours to bring independence. The transitional government is not trusted, and there is growing distrust in the ability of the West, especially the USA, to achieve independence for Namibia. In contrast, socialist states have never ceased supporting Namibia. In addition, nothing could be more conducive to turn black Namibians to an alternative political system than a prolonged war. The task facing the interim government is not easy. Namibia desperately needs an end to the violence.